Hearts 2-1 Aberdeen - report

Last updated : 22 April 2016 By Stand Free Ed

Aberdeen's title hopes were delivered a fatal blow at Tynecastle where Juanma netted twice as Hearts came from behind to win 2-1.

Although Simon Church gave the Dons a fourth minute lead, the Edinburgh side weathered an early onslaught before hitting back to keep alive their slim chances of securing second spot in the Scottish Premiership table.

The visitors opened the scoring when Church stretched out a leg to clip the ball past keeper Neil Alexander at the near post, following Graeme Shinnie's cross.

And they should have doubled their advantage three minutes later when Niall McGinn failed to convert Kenny McLean's cross, with only Alexander to beat from three yards.

Within 60 seconds Alexander denied McGinn from a tight angle, while an unmarked Shaleum Logan headed straight at the home keeper as Aberdeen threatened to run amok during the opening 12 minutes.

At the other end, Scott Brown saved brilliantly as he pushed away Blazej Augustyn's eight-yard header.

Brown then touched over Alim Ozturk's looping free-kick but the visiting keeper was probably at fault as Hearts levelled matters on 32.

From Ozturk's low 30-yard strike, Brown could only parry the ball into the path of the unmarked Juanma who had the simple task of finding the bottom left-hand corner of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.

Hearts came close to taking lead eight minutes into the second half when Logan slipped in the box but, from six yards, Prince Buaben could only scoop the chance over the bar under pressure from keeper Brown.

And shortly afterwards the hosts came close again as Igor Rossi drove the ball against a post from 20 yards.

The second Jambos goal duly arrived on the hour when the visitors fell victim to the pace of Jamie Walker who sped down the left before crossing for Juanma to clinically nod the ball past Brown from seven yards.

McGinn, who missed a couple excellent chances early in the first half, was wasteful again in the 70th minute as Aberdeen vainly chased an equaliser.

As the game opened up during the closing stages, both sides enjoyed plenty of the ball without creating much in the way of clear cut chances.

Derek McInnes's side appeared to run out of ideas as the home defence coped easily with each and every tired Dons attack.

The result leaves Aberdeen eight points adrift of Celtic who have one game in hand and just six more to play.